At the Fiat flagship store in Marylebone, London, yesterday, British Cycling outlined the changes made to its performance pathway which aims to give talented young cyclists the best chance of success at future Olympic Games.
The Great Britain Cycling Team Performance Pathway has been created with winning medals in mind across all the Olympic disciplines, and will allow British Cycling coaching staff to identify, confirm and develop talented young riders.
Ian Yates, British Cycling’s performance pathway manager explains: “The success story of British Cycling’s performance pathway speaks for itself and we look to be in a strong position at this stage of the Olympic cycle as we head towards Rio.
“As we look beyond that, we felt the pathway needed refining in order for us to sustain the successes and continue to be a leading cycling nation. The new performance pathway is now aligned with what we think will put us into the strongest position when we reach Tokyo 2020 and beyond.”
Ian Drake, British Cycling chief executive, said: “This work is essential to ensuring British Cycling can enjoy sustainable success and reflects the changing face of our sport as more and more young people are participating in cycling. When the first talent identification programme was set up, we had 1300 under-18 members and at the end of last year we had 13,000.
“I’m confident the systems introduced by Ian will ensure that British Cycling continues to deliver on its funding commitments.”
The Performance Pathway will see riders progress through six stages:
Stage 1 – Club Clusters of Training (CCT)
Aimed at riders aged between 12 and 16 years, Club Clusters of Training aim to provide riders with an environment that is otherwise difficult to create in isolation. The clusters will be run by club coaches and supported by British Cycling’s regional performance pathway coaches and Go-Ride coaches.
Stage 2 – Regional Schools of Racing (RSR)
The Regional Schools of Racing have historically been a part of British Cycling’s performance pathway and have proven successful in developing young riders’ skills both on and off the bike in a competitive environment.
Riders who perform well and show promise at their club and regional level can be nominated by their coach to attend a Regional School of Racing, and they are typically aged 14-16 years.
Stage 3 – Olympic Development Apprentices (‘Apprentices’)
This stage of the pathway is where British Cycling begins to invest more in talented cyclists aged 14-15 years within each region. Apprentices receive coaching support from a regional performance pathway coach, regular group training sessions, access to world class facilities, advice on managing workload and other benefits which aim to help prepare the rider for the transition into the junior ranks.
Stage 4 – Olympic Development Programme (ODP)
The focus here is for riders, typically aged 15-17 years, to develop their skills strategies and fitness to cope with the demands of racing. Recruitment onto the ODP is selective, and progress is continuously monitored.
ODP riders receive discipline specific coaching from Great Britain Cycling Team coaches, individual training programmes, a structured race programme, and support and education from GBCT’s performance support team.
Stage 5 – Olympic Academy Programme (‘the Academy’)
The Academy is a full-time residential programme based primarily at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester and includes riders from all Olympic disciplines. The aim is to provide a tough and demanding environment so riders understand the requirements, expectations and principles of what it is to be a world and Olympic champion.
Only a small number of riders are selected each year, and membership will generally last two to three years however progress on and off the bike is constantly monitored and reviewed. The Academy Programme is considered as the ‘finishing school’ of the performance pathway and those successful will graduate onto the prestigious Olympic Podium Programme.
Stage 6 – Olympic Podium Programme
The final step of the performance pathway, the Olympic Podium Programme is dedicated to supporting highly skilled elite cyclists as they aim to win medals in major competitions, such as European, world and Olympic championships.
Full information on the new performance pathway structure can be found here www.britishcycling.org.uk/performancepathway.